There are so many ways Walk [Your City] campaigns can support civic and organizational goals: lately, we’re especially intrigued by the idea of allying with Safe Routes to Schools programs, and reminding families that “it’s not too far” to explore local amenities.
Given our interest in starting kids on the path to pedestrianism early, we were very excited to hear about the recent Walk [Birmingham] campaign. Coordinator Nick shared that W[YC] aligned with local goals: “The hope is that along with this increase of choosing an active mode of transportation, there will be an increase in advocacy and construction of supportive bike/ped infrastructure.” Walk [Birmingham] is specifically focused around neighborhood routes, including paths to school, and kicked off with an event “focused on the promotion of active lifestyles for youth.”
The reaction so far? Walk [Birmingham] is already having a positive impact! Nick’s favorite reaction: “On a Friday night, a couple of weeks ago, I was walking out of the Birmingham Barons baseball stadium after the end of the game, and I overheard a girl who appeared to around 8-10 years old talking to her parents. As they were walking past Railroad Park, I heard her saying, ‘Mommy, did you know it’s only a 15 minute walk to the Civil Rights Institute from here?’” Sounds like a good start to us!
An update on Walk [Birmingham]: we got in touch with another project partner, the Freshwater Land Trust! They’re involved as part of their work to get more trails and greenways on the ground in their region, which will make it even easier for folks to be physically active. As Trail System Coordinator Ryan shared: “Over ⅓ of residents within our county reported doing no physical activity within the past month, so we wanted to create a tool that would make walking seem more interesting.” More folks walking will hopefully lead to more interest for trails in the area.
We love seeing meaningful organizational partnerships happen around W[YC] projects – just another reminder that walkability serves so many critical functions in our communities!